How to Take A Screenshot on Mac: 5 Methods Explained

Did you know that you could capture the screenshot on your mac in five different ways? No. Jump over to this hands-on guide to find out the multiple methods of snapping screenshots on macOS and tell us which one is your favorite.

Regardless of you’re a student, a software engineer or a typical computer user, you will need to capture a screenshot once in a while. For instance, you may need to take screenshots to finish your new project, share your games scores with friends or in some cases even to a strange bird! Luckily macOS makes it much simpler to take a screenshot on Mac. Simply take a couple of steps below, and you’ll be ready to rock!

So there are five types of screenshots that you can capture on Mac, and we have a detailed section for each of them. Let’s fuel the rocket and see how it works!

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How to Take a Screenshot on Mac: There are Five Ways

You need know:

  • The screenshots you take are saved as .png files on the desktop in Mac OS X v10.6 and later. Besides, macOS automatically name them as “Screen Shot date time.png.” You can change the format (Refer this to know more.)
  • To save your screenshot to the Clipboard instead of your desktop, you just need to add Control to the key combinations mentioned below. For instance, use press Control-Shift-Command-3 instead of Shift-Command-3.
  • You can open screenshots with Preview, Safari, and other apps.
  • Keep in mind that some apps like DVD Player might not allow you to capture screenshots of their windows.

How to Take Screenshot of Entire Desktop on Mac

With this option, you can capture your entire desktop (no matter what is currently on it). You can generally use this to capture video frames, game scores or so on. Here are the steps involved.

Step #1. Get ready for taking the screenshot. Basically, you have to open up all the programs that you want to capture, and when you’re done, your screen should look exactly what you want the screenshot to be like.

Step #2. Once you’re ready, press the combination of Command+Shift+3 on your keyboard, and release them.

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How to Take Screenshot of Entire Desktop in Mac OS X

Step #3. Next, on your Mac desktop, you’ll notice a new file with .PNG extension and this is the screenshot you just took.

Step #4. To confirm it is the file, you can look for the word Screen Shot in the file name.

Step #5. Alternatively, you can double-click the file to open it and see a preview of it.

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How to Take a Screenshot of a Specific Area of Desktop on Mac

In case you just want to show a specific area of your screen, you should go for this option. You can use it for capturing a part of your chat, or images on the web or anything else you like (because ultimately it’s your choice).

Step #1. Set up the screen and make sure you know what you want to capture.

Step #2. On your keyboard, press Command+Shift+4.

How to Take Screenshot of Specific Area of Desktop in Mac OS X

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Step #3. As soon as you release the keys, your mouse cursor will turn into movable crosshairs.

Step #4. Now drag the cursor anywhere (and this will be one of the corners of the screenshot) and then hold and drag the mouse over the area you’d like to make a screenshot of.

Step #5. After you’re done, you can release the mouse button to get the screenshot in the form of a .PNG file.

How to Take a Screenshot of a Single Window on Mac

There are several windows open on your screen so you can not capture the full screen and you even don’t want to take the pain to capture a specific area. So why not snip a single window?

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Step #1. To take a single window snip, first make sure you open the right window.

Step #2. Now press and release Command+Shift+4 on your keyboard.

Step #3. Hit the spacebar.

How to Take Screenshot of Single Window in Mac OS X

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Step #4. Now make a single mouse click on the window you want to capture.

Step #5. You can even select something else by moving your mouse around.

Step #6. As soon as you do it, you’ll have the right .PNG file on your desktop.

How to Take a Screenshot of a Menu on Mac

Step #1. First off, click the menu to show the contents.

Then, you need to press Shift+Command+4. Now, the pointer will change to a crosshair.

Step #2. Now, drag to choose the menu and then release your mouse or trackpad button.

Note: If you want to cancel, press the Escape (Esc) key before releasing the button.

You will find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

You can also capture the contents of a menu, but not its title:

To do so,

Step #1. Click the menu to show up its contents.

Step #2. Press Shift-Command-4. The pointer changes to a crosshair. Next, press the Spacebar. Now, the pointer will change to a camera.

Step #3. Next, you need to move the camera over the menu to highlight it and click on your mouse or trackpad.

How to Take a Screenshot of the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

Ensure that your MacBook Pro is running macOS Sierra 10.12.2 or later:

Simply the press Shift-Command-6 to capture the screen.

You will also be able to customize the Control Strip region of your Touch Bar to include a Screenshot button. Then, you can just tap the Screenshot button to view options for the type of screenshot and where to save it.

Have your say

That was all about taking the screenshot on macOS. Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below!

You might want to refer these posts as well:

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Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is the founder and editor-in-chief who takes care of audio, visual, and textual contents uploaded on He is passionate about wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.
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